The direct trip from Memphis to Nashville is a little over 3 and a half hours. But today we took a little detour through the beautiful and lush Tennessean high country.
There is a renowned elephant sanctuary in a small town called Hohenwald and Jenny was keen to visit this special place, given her Melbourne Zoo background and the work she does in helping to conserve elephants in Thailand http://www.elephant-encounters.com/.
The Elephant Sanctuary is the nation’s largest natural-habitat refuge developed specifically to meet the needs of endangered elephants. It is a non-profit organization. Utilizing more than 2700 acres, it provides three separate and protected, natural-habitat environments for Asian and African elephants. There is a visitor centre in the heart of Hohenwald where Jenny had arranged to meet Sanctuary staff. She was also given access to the Sanctuary itself which is a rare courtesy afforded to outsiders.
While she was elephant-engaged, the rest of us filled in a few hours in the town.
Now Hohenwald is the county seat of Lewis County, Tennessee. The population is around 4,000. The name “Hohenwald” is a German word that means “High Forest” and there seems to be a significant Swiss heritage here as well. We first went to the local mart and bought some fruit, stumbled upon a toasted cheese and ham sandwich which has put into serious doubt my long-term relationship with ham and orange cheese, not to mention salted, fat-soaked and sweet bread. In great need of a walk, we ambled around the town, looking for a bargain. The second-hand store had some unopened beer dating back to the early 90s.
There also were plenty of signs – here’s one.
We checked out the wonky bench seats in the town’s rotunda.
We got some gas.
We had a drink.
Ninety minutes later we checked in at the Best Western Downtown in Nashville. A quick turnaround and a walk past The Ryman Auditorium (where I touched a brick for luck), a walk through Broadway and dinner at a place I remembered from our last visit – Demo’s in Commerce St. I had an excellent steak and salad with spinach and beans (I have reached that stage where I am actively seeking salads and vegetables – maybe it was the cheese and ham sandwich today).
Then back to Broadway to Robert’s Western World – a favourite of mine. John England and the Western Swingers were just finishing their set. We watched about an hour of Monte Good & The Honky Tonk Heroes. Nice music – authentic – plenty of twang without unnecessary theatrics – and we could look out the door and see Ernest Tubb Record Shop over Broadway (still open too!).
Then to bed. Tomorrow could be shopping, Conference registration and some night music.
Good to be back in Nashville.